Mitt Romney told contributors at a private fundraiser in May that women are open to supporting him and that he can "capture women's votes" -- but Janelle Matous' won't be one of them.
The single mother, 30, has a 4-year-old son and is a full-time student studying photojournalism at the University of Texas, where she maintains a 3.7 GPA. She also works 20 hours a week at a non-profit, earning $18,000 a year.
With loans and grants, her annual income is just around $22,000. Each month, $900 of that goes straight to her rent. That, she said, is what it costs to live in a neighborhood where she feels safe as a single woman and where she doesn't have to spend too much money on gas getting to and from work and shuttling her son around.
Matous said she pays Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, but does not pay income tax. She also gets government help with day care expenses, an earned income credit, and is able write off certain expenses, such as her school books.
She does not think she should have to apologize for any of this.
"It's not as easy as everyone makes it seem to support yourself in today's economy, and sometimes you do need help with things," Matous told The Huffington Post.
"It was probably the thing that really pissed me off the most about [the video] was this feeling that everything I'm working for, everything that I'm doing is not good enough in some way." she said. "I don't consider myself a victim. I don't."
What upset her most about Romney's remarks is the suggestion that, as a 47 percenter, she isn't taking personal responsibility for her life.
"My job is not to worry about those people," Romney said. "I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for for their lives."
But Matous said her daily schedule is grueling. She gets up at 6 a.m., makes breakfast, packs lunch and gets her son to school. She spends the day in an office or classroom and the evening spending time with her son, cleaning her house and trying to keep her "sanity in check." After her son falls asleep, Matous does homework until it's time for bed.
"I'm sorry that I got myself in this predicament, whatever you want to say about it," she said. "But, here I am. And I'm trying to get out of it."
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